Amendment 2 is now the law of the land in Florida, but already it may end up in court.
- Gov. Scott signs medical marijuana bill into law
- Directs state to implement Amendment 2
- Bans smoking, which could lead to a lawsuit from advocates
Gov. Rick Scott signed the medical marijuana bill state lawmakers passed earlier this month on Friday.
The bill implements Amendment 2, which expands medical marijuana use in the state. The law had to be in place by July 3 and enacted by October.
It expands the types of patients who can qualify for low-THC cannabis or full strength medical marijuana. It also allows for 10 new medical marijuana treatment centers in the state by Oct. 3, on top of the seven currently operating.
However, the bill bans smoking medical marijuana, something that was in the original amendment. Supporter and Orlando attorney John Morgan has indicated he may sue the state because of the ban.
Medical marijuana users will be able to vape, use infusions and edibles to get the medical marijuana.
What's in Florida's Medical Marijuana law?
WHO CAN GET IT
Anyone with a debilitating medical condition can receive the drug:
- Positive status for HIV
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease)
- Crohn's disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Medical conditions in the same class or comparable to the above conditions
- A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician
- Chronic nonmalignant pain
HOW DOCTORS DECIDE IF YOU CAN HAVE IT
A doctor must be properly trained in order to issue a certificate to a patient on medical marijuana. That includes the completion of a 2-hour course and a test.
The doctor must conduct a physical examination with a full assessment of the patient's medical history and diagnose them with one of the medical conditions above. They also have to make sure the patient is not registered for medical marijuana use with any other doctor.
The doctor then issues a certification (not a prescription) and adds the patient to the state's medical marijuana use registry.
The bill gets rid of a previous requirement that the patient must see the same doctor over a 90-day period before the doctor can sign off on medical marijuana.
Patients will get a registry ID card from the state. The state is expected to begin issuing the patient ID cards by Oct. 3.
You can find a qualified doctor on the Florida Dept. of Health website.
HOW YOU CAN USE IT
Patients can vape or take edibles (which are made with marijuana oil, and no other form). Smoking is not permitted. Only low-THC cannabis is allows in any public place or on public transportation. It's also not allowed on school grounds.
WHERE YOU CAN GET IT
The law allows for 10 new Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers on top of the current seven. The law allows the state to license more MMTCs as the registry of users grows.
Each MMTC will be able to operate a maximum of 25 dispensaries initially. As the registry of users grows, each MMTC will be allowed to open more dispensaries.
Local governments are also allowed to ban dispensaries.